Posted On 24 Feb 2024
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This entry is part 13 of 33 in the series AusMotorcyclist Issue#24


The Thunder Rally has now had its 33rd running and the team from the DOC NSW pulled a beauty out of the hat! The weather was perfect for swimming in the Sheeba Dam, or fishing, or sitting in the shade with a cool drink.

On my way to the rally I had a couple of experiences I hope not to repeat.

As I returned to my bike after paying for the fuel, a fine fellow on another bike squeezed himself and bike, between my machine and the petrol bowser! Then proceeded to dismount and heave it onto the centrestand. My bike was on the side stand and I had to stand it up and move off without hitting this fine fellow’s machine. A moment’s patience and I would have been gone, leaving unobstructed access!

Later in the day, having had an uneventful ride, as I approached Nundle, I traversed a long sweeping bend to have a cruiser rider coming at me head on, on my side of the road. Fortunately he woke up before I was forced to seek refuge in the drain!

I am used to lack of attention and thought process from car drivers, but having to put up with this could force a chap into a Swedish car for his own safety!

Having arrived at the camp site and collected badge and sticker, I wandered about and found a very well set up Royal Enfield with trailer. Glenn Motley from Armidale NSW uses the RE as a daily commuter and periodically ventures further afield. The plastic drum-based trailer came via ebay and includes an insulated compartment for cool drinks.

A 21 inch front wheel has been fitted for improved dirt road handling as Glenn prefers to travel the back roads and avoid highways where possible with his combination.

Another beauty was a 1979 R100RS from the Richmond area, mileage unknown as it was described as being like grandfather’s Axe, several new handles and a couple of new heads but essentially original and in perfect condition.

As evening crept in, the Nundle Lions Club fired up their catering van and fed the ravenous horde, and they repeated the process at breakfast the next morning. An excellent effort, helping to keep funds in the town for future use.

As dark o’clock rolled around, Aunty Mal started the awards and raffle draws.

Over $5000 in value was up for grabs with all funds in support of the clubs charities, the spinal unit and the brain injury unit. Many tickets were sold prior to the rally and all winners will be notified by email or telephone.

Largest club attendance went to the Southern Cross Cruisers, all other awards were for longest distance on various conveyances.

LD American, 968km on a
HD Nightrain
LD British, 598km on a
Triumph Tiger, Andy Weekes
LD Club plate, 750km on
a Ducati GT750, Murray Wilmot
LD Ducati, 2360km on a Ducati Monster,
Yowie from Cairns
LD European, as above
And a stand out was Chris Crow
with 1152km on the back of
a BMW for LD Pillion.

Aunty Mal and the team were well pleased with 250 entrants to this year’s rally, which is more than the total number of people attending the last two rallies I visited, combined!

You don’t need a Ducati to attend a DOC NSW rally, you just need to ride a bike and like a good time, so make a note on the calendar for next October.

About the Author
Australian Motorcyclist Magazine is Australia's leading motorcycle travel magazine.
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